PIX 11 recently caught up with Hip Hop icon and host of MTV’s acclaimed “Yo! MTV Raps” program Fab 5 Freddy to discuss his most recent foray into the world of art. Freddy, hardly a stranger a stranger to the world of art and a famed graffiti artist in his own right, discussed his new exhibition “New York: New Work.” Made up of works compsed in two different artistic styles, Freddy’s new show mixes crystal-encrusted digital renderings of pin-up models and boxers and reimagined paintings of famous graffiti taggings.
“I call the exhibit ‘New York: New Work,'” he explained. “We take these images [of boxers and models], we digitally alter them, and then the images are printed on canvas, and then we apply thousands of these little of these Swarovski crystals to them…these [other] pieces are new wave work with with elements of graffiti, and the background is a train that I executed quite a while ago, which was a homage to Andy Warhol..I’m remixing forms and shapes of my past and turning it into something new.”
Freddy, who also starred in the classic Hip Hop/graffiti-focused film Wild Style, also discussed his beginnings as a tagger and his later transformation in an art aficionado. He discussed the youthful ethos inherent graffiti and how he and legendary graffiti artist Ventura 2000 hosted the first graffiti art exhibit.
“[My first graffiti exhibit] was a show called ‘Beyond Words’ that I curated in 1981 with [tagger] Ventura 2000 at the Mudd Club, which was a place where new wave and punk rock and Hip Hop folks came and all mingled together for the very first time,” he said. “Graffiti [was] in the beginning, and a lot of still is, just rebellious teenage energy. Out of that energy, people began to develop techniques and a desire to really be real artists.”
The full interview can be seen below.